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Echoes of an Era

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Chaka Khan 12/8/2003

Review

In 1982, soul goddess Chaka Khan did the unexpected when she recorded this excellent, straight-ahead jazz LP. Regrettably, the album was released under the name Echoes of an Era instead of under Khan's own name -- so it wasn't nearly the big seller it probably would have been if Elektra had fully exploited Khan's connection with the project. But while Echoes of an Era was the victim of questionable marketing, it was a creative triumph. Joined by Joe Henderson on tenor sax, Freddie Hubbard on trumpet and flugelhorn, Chick Corea on acoustic piano, Stanley Clarke on upright bass, and Lenny White on drums, Khan demonstrates that she is quite capable of handling hard bop and straight-ahead jazz. Corea, Clarke, and White had all been members of the fusion powerhouse of the '70s Return to Forever, but make no mistake -- Echoes of an Era is very much an acoustic bop date. With White producing and Corea handling the arrangements, the singer swings aggressively and really soars on Thelonious Monk's "I Mean You" and Duke Ellington's "Take the 'A' Train," as well as on "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most," "All of Me," and "I Loves You Porgy." In fact, Khan's jazz singing is so strong that one cannot help but wonder what would have happened if jazz had been her dominant direction instead of R&B. ~ Alex Henderson
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Them There Eyes Chaka Khan 3:50
  3. 2 All of Me Chaka Khan 4:35
  4. 3 I Mean You Chaka Khan 3:28
  5. 4 I Loves You, Porgy Chaka Khan 6:27
  6. 5 Take the "A" Train Chaka Khan 6:24
  7. 6 I Hear Music Chaka Khan 4:20
  8. 7 High Wire -- The Aerialist Chaka Khan 6:27
  9. 8 All of Me Chaka Khan 4:13
  10. 9 Spring Can Really Hang You up the Most Chaka Khan 16:7

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